I am praising God continually for all the great things He is doing at Destino this year. It truly is amazing!!! Thank you so much for praying for us continually because there is much fruit because of your faithful prayers. Many children and parents have come to Christ already this year. Thank you for always remembering us in prayer even in the midst of your very very busy schedules. I know life in America is so hectic and I am amazed that you even have time to think of us over here but I am so thankful that you do.
I continue to praise God for bringing us the new pastors to Destino. It has been key to bringing us to a new level spiritually at Destino. Pablo meets with several students each day to pray with them personally and make sure they are growing spiritually and being encouraged. We just don’t want kids to grow up under the Word of God in devotions daily, Bible classes, etc. and never having come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They need one-on-one, face-to-face, personal attention and FINALLY that is happening. Also Pablo has two hours on his afternoon schedule each day designated for home visits and he has been such an encouragement to many school families in their crisis and need. It is amazing. Pastor Efrain has to travel a lot with his other international ministry, but when he is here, he is the one in the pulpit and he is the older leader for the whole church and accountability partner for Pastor Pablo. What wonderful godly men these two are.
Well, we have an update on the electricity situation. We FINALLY aren’t wondering each day if we will have lights on or not but that is because we had to sign a contract that requires us to pay $800 a month to pay off two years’ of debt. The debt was never fair in the first place. A typical electric bill here would be maybe $50or so for a house and so charging us over $1,000 a month has always been robbery, but we cannot do anything about that. We are being able to arrange things for the future though. We have had the government graciously agree to take on our electric bill for the school since it is providing education for the poorest children in our area. They agreed to let us include the well on their bill, which is the biggest part of our expense in the light bills. So hopefully starting next month with the well on the school bill, we will see a real relief in our bills for the future. The other situation which is still ongoing is that we need to file a complaint against the electric company with the courts here because they have attached two entire villages and lots of other residences and a few businesses on our poles and wires and have not bought our project. They actually owe us more than we owe them so if they know we are serious about removing all of these people off of our lines, then they may be pressured into paying us back for the project and I can get out of the debt. Please continue to pray for us. The man in charge here in Siguatepeque could be in risk of losing his job for doing all of this illegally and he is very angry at us (although we never intended to get him into trouble personally). So we need to proceed in wisdom and caution as it is dangerous sometimes in Honduras when there are conflicts. Thanks for your prayers and in the meantime, we just need prayer for the funds to come in to cover this additional $800 a month. God is faithful and we are resting in HIS plan and provision.
Please be praying for us as we start tomorrow with a weekly Bible study for the mothers of our students. I don’t have any idea how many will come tomorrow but I am really excited about teaching them to study the Word of God and to help them grow in their faith. Pablo’s wife, Esther, is going to be helping me with this study each week on Tuesday afternoons. Thanks for your prayers.
We are realizing that we need to get a better system going to do our sponsorship program for the school students. We have had Amanda Bowen doing it from the US and she is so willing and excellent, but it is really hard being so far away and not in contact with the kids here and knowing who is still attending, etc. So I am working with the American teachers who are here on site to get on top of this and hopefully provide more information to those of you who are sponsoring a child as to how to pray for him/her and their families, etc. Our American teachers are in charge of sending out a monthly letter about the class they are teaching and if your sponsored child is in that class you will receive that update. I am working on re-assigning sponsorships right now as we have had about 10 children not continue and we need to update all of this. The one step I have not completed yet is to check with our accountant to see if all the sponsors who had signed up several years before are still sending in their money, and if not, to contact them and check if they want to continue sponsoring their student. BUT, if my calculations are correct (or close), we still need 22 more sponsors for our kindergarten class. Please pray for us to find the right sponsors for these precious little ones. They are all coming from difficult home situations and poverty and we want each child to be being prayed for by name regularly. Thanks for praying with us about this and if you know of anyone that may be interested in being a part of this, please refer them to our website to sign up. Thanks so much.
Please continue to pray for my parents. Daddy is bedridden and is very weak and is not eating much and Mama is not bedridden but is weak and not able to go out much. They have 24/7 caretakers and life has made a HUGE turnaround for them this year and it is very hard to adjust to being so dependent on others. My parents LOVE people and they love visitors and I just wanted to tell you that if any of you ever want to think of a way to encourage ME, please go by and see my parents, even for just a 20 minute visit. You don’t have to call them — they are there all the time and they would LOVE it. They are lonely and feeling very discouraged. I think you will be encouraged by them though as well, if you go to see them. Thanks for your prayers for them and all of us as we go through this stage of our lives. It is really hard for my sister and I to not be there for them and we have to trust God continually to be all they need and love them through others around them since we cannot do it. Daddy really wants to go on to Jesus and I told Mama yesterday that I see God’s grace inHis letting us get used to living without Daddy’s help right now and adjusting to that before God takes him home. I have been so blessed with the parents God gave me and it is hard to watch them going through this, but as the song says, “It is just the earth” and we will be home with Jesus soon all together once again.
The junior high is coming along. We were able to buy all the cement blocks to complete the second floor (which we need completed by August) and we buy cement from week to week as the Lord provides the money. We need to get the roof on soon because the bottom floor classroom walls are constantly wet during the rainy season and until the roof is up, there is no solution to keeping those classes dry. After we complete the classrooms for next year, we need to get the bathrooms built for the junior high and high school classes for next year. YES, we start high school next year and it is a scary thought!!! But it is God’s plan and He will continue to give us wisdom and means to complete His purposes for these children. We need a lot of wisdom for planning for the high school. These children need to start being responsible and more independent so we are changing a lot of things for them, i.e. giving them a chance to work for their education and requiring more of them individually so they can mature and not become totally dependent on provisions from others. We need are going to do a lot of things differently with them and are seeking the Lord for wisdom on how to best push them into more leadership and responsibility. Thanks for your prayers for us in these decisions.
Another prayer request concerning the junior and high schools is that we are almost finished with preparation of all our papers for petitioning for our accreditation and we need that desperately to be approved before January. Pray for our lawyer. She is a sweet Christian woman and has been one of the main lawyers for the Education Dept. and thankfully she is helping us personally with our papers and knows exactly what to do and how to prepare them because she is part of the department that approves the accredidations. This country, as you know, is so corrupt and violent and in July, she was kidnapped for 6 days. Evidently, the reason for this was to force her to give up her job at the dept. and she has done that now to spare her family. She needs prayer as she still is afraid and very sad through what she has been through. Wendy was telling me how this is so common here and many times when someone wants another’s job, they hire an attorney and prove they have better qualifications and pay some bribes and get the other person kicked out of their position. She had a very important positionat the department of education and now is having to give it up and just go back to being an attorney in private practice. I told Wendy, thankfully, NO ONE wants MY job, ha ha — too much work for no pay.
I will be going to Augusta to be with my parents for Thanksgiving. God is so good to me. Some friends of ours promised to pay for my next trip home before I had even left home the last visit. God continues to provide everything for me even though I don’t have a salary — He is faithful to His children and He gives me above and beyond anything I could ever ask of Him. I will be home for a week and hope I can see some of you during that time if you live in the Augusta area.
One thing personally you can pray for me about is my spiritual life. I realized through some conflicts that I have had through the past months that I live in guilt a LOT — I tend to believe that everything is my fault and I constantly see all the things that I fail at, don’t spend enough time with my kids individually, haven’t led anyone to Christ lately, haven’t spent enough time in the Word or prayed enough, etc. Guilt is NOT from God. The Holy Spirit CONVICTS and He gently tells us what is wrong and is clear on what we can do to make it right and we can immediately confess it and we are CLEAN. But Satan sends constant negative, dark guilt feelings that are vague and discouraging and just cause us to want to run from God instead of running TO Him. I am going to be teaching the mothers about the difference in religion (doing good works) and sweet relationship with Jesus (who has already paid the ENTIRE price for ALL our sins, past, present and future). I decided to start there with my teaching them because, even after all these years, I still find myself falling back into trying to please God instead of just enjoying Him and letting His spirit work and live through me. I am trying to evaluate my motives each day and check to see if I am doing things out of GUILT or out of GRATITUDE. I really need prayer for this because I can be doing all the same things (i.e. reading my Bible, spending time with kids, doing good things for others, etc.) under either of those motivations, but there is no life in it if I am doing it from guilt and responsibility — I want to live my life out of GRATITUDE for all that Christ has already done for me and not labor under the heavy burden of guilt. Satan is such a sneaky lier and robs our joy when we have the wrong motive. I didn’t realize this had creeped into my life until just a few weeks ago and I am really asking the Father to show me when I am not operating out of gratitude — and I ask your prayers for me to be sensitive to the Spirit when this tries to creep in and steal my joy again.
Love to all of you and thank you for your faithfulness in prayer, giving and encouragement. Remember you can’t hit “reply” to this message, but you can write me on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In His AMAZING grace,